HOI AN BEACH

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Besides the charm of the ancient town, Hoi An is also an enticing beach destination. Although the water is not as blue as Nha Trang, the sand is not as soft as Phu Quoc, Hoi An’s beach is calm, quiet and alluring in its own way. Hoi An’s resorts and hotels are also gentle like its people: you will get to experience a whole new style of beach holiday by stay here. If you have time, make sure you take a day trip to Cham island, for its unspoilled landscape that can find no match in the rest of Vietnam.

Overview

Cham islands, which is locally known as Cu Lao Cham, is about 18 km offshore from Hoi An. It constitutes a total of 8 islands of Quang Nam province and is the habitat for roughly 135 coral species, 202 different types of fish, 84 species of mollusk and 5 species of lobsters, many of which are listed in the Vietnam’s and the World’s Red Book of Endangered Species. Due to its rich biodiversity, the island is recognized as the World Biosphere Reserve by the UNESCO. Despite its great potential for tourism, the island was only recently open to tourists and is accessible for only seven months per year. For this reason, it remains rather unexploited and naturally beautiful, which makes it a great getaway for those with hectic lives. Nature is the norm here and human is the exception. On the islands, there are only a few villages, some fishermen, yet dense forest and abundance of pretty unspoiled beaches. Owing to its magnificently beautiful coral reefs and crystal clear water, the main reason for visiting Cham Island is to go diving. Besides, tourists can also enjoy wonderful seafood and do an exciting “eco-tour” hiking across the islands, combined with visits to fish villages and overnight stays in the middle of the forest. What is more, some special archaeological remains were recently discovered and are now on exhibition for tourists in a modest museum near the main jetty.

Best time to visit

If you are heading to Cham islands for some snorkeling and diving, it is recommended to go there during the calm summer months of June, July and August. However, tourists should be reminded that this time of the year also witnesses an increase in jelly fish population near the coast, which can be easily protected by wearing a T-shirt. If you cannot arrange to get to Cham islands during the summer, spring (April, May and June) is also an option worth considering. But you must bear in mind to check the weather forecast before heading to the islands since the sea can still get rough sometimes during Spring. Autumn and winter are the time to be avoided at all cost as there will be high chance of getting stranded on the islands at when the monsoon storms strike. In fact, it might also be impossible to get there as the sea water of that time is always very rough.

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